The Cycle

Let the rebranding begin

When a company faces a crisis so bad that it believes its name is permanently sullied, in enters the rebrand and rename. Witness ValuJet to AirTran, Philip Morris to Altria, Anderson Consulting to Accenture, and Blackwater to Xe.

Now it seems it’s the beleaguered auto industry’s turn to get creative. General Motors’ asset management service unit, General Motors Asset Management, has dropped GM from its name, The Wall Street Journal reports. Instead, it will rebrand as Promark Global Advisors, as it looks to win more “external business.” GM currently accounts for 80% of its funds, WSJ writes.

The re-branding exercise represents a marketing about-face for GMAM, which had previously highlighted its relationship with the auto maker as a strength. Marketing material on its Web site noted: “The investment programs offered to our clients are the same ones in which GM’s benefit plans participate.” Some of GMAM’s senior executive team, including its CFO and chief operating officer, joined from GM or its GMAC financing arm.

I wonder who else will get a new name in ‘09?

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